Alcohol often affects the whole family. Children whose parents abuse substances are likely to develop behavioral problems that may leave them susceptible to alcohol and substance abuse. This often leads to a cycle that causes a lot of friction between members.
When family members visit their loved one at alcohol treatment centers, it can trigger a series of negative emotions that can affect the recovery process. Therefore, it is important for family members to be careful on how they interact with their loved ones to avoid psychological challenges that can introduce unnecessary challenges when undergoing rehabilitation.
It is important for family members to understand the importance of family participation even as their loved one goes to a rehabilitation center. A study by NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) showed that a multi-dimensional family approach is significantly more effective than Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT) for teens with various drug abuse conditions.
Therefore, alcohol treatment centers will often include a multi-dimensional family approach. It is important for family members to understand that their involvement is needed for the full recovery of the patient. Family members should make a point of showing up to give the necessary support.
The nature of alcoholism is that it can affect family members in a number of different ways leaving them with financial and psychological problems to deal with. It is, therefore, common for those close to the patient to feel resentment and anger towards him.
Conversely, there are families that ignore the patient’s condition and refuse to acknowledge it. This is often done to avoid confrontation and they see it as a way to help the addict deal with their addictions. However, at some point, it is important that family members acknowledge the problem in the presence of the patient so that underlying factors can be addressed.
Regardless of how the relationship was between the patient and his family, it will be necessary to have a counselor present, especially during the first few visits. Family members can be guided on how to interact with their loved ones and strike a balance between acknowledging the problem and maintaining a positive attitude.
Understanding the Rules
There are rules that alcoholic rehab centers have set that must be followed during visits. Most centers will not allow visitors to introduce any substances that may jeopardize the patient’s treatment program. Alcohol, herbal remedies, over the counter medications not prohibited and it is important to understand these rules.
When going for visitation you should establish how long you are required to spend time with the patient. Some patients are required to be on medication and long visits may make them feel uncomfortable.
However, longer visits will be more appreciated if there are no issues with medication or the rules of the rehabilitation center. Similarly, taking gifts is an important part of repairing relationships with your loved ones. Gifts will make them feel valued and appreciated.
Here are some ideas on what to get a recovering addict:
- Send them books of their favorite author or genre.
- Crossword puzzles and anything that will keep them entertained.
- Messages from friends and family in the form of videos, cards, or letters.
What to watch out for:
- Make sure you check with the rehab center first if you are unsure about anything.
- Avoid any photos that may trigger negative emotions associated with substance abuse.
- Note that staff at alcohol rehabilitation centers often checks packages; you may want to avoid anything that is too personal.
Your loved one needs a lot of care and support in order to get better, and that makes your visits a huge part of their recovery process.